Cyber Monday and related retail events around the Thanksgiving holiday weekend have so far produced decent gains that should make retailers very thankful.
Here's a quick roundup of the numbers:
* On Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving), online sales rose 33% over last year, according to IBM Benchmark. The final tally was $1.25 billion spent online, a 22% increase from last year, according to comScore.
* Overall Black Friday sales rose 6.6% over last year, according to retail data and consulting firm ShopperTrak, but online sales grew 24.3%, according to IBM's data unit Coremetrics.
* Online sales completed on Thanksgiving Day rose 39.3%, showing that the holiday itself is a huge retail opportunity, much to the chagrin of traditionalists and store employees who prefer to keep the day unsullied by commerce.
Some small businesses see major sales boost
Nick Palmisciano, CEO of online apparel company Ranger Up, said that his company's sales were up 153% during his company's "best Black Friday weekend ever."
Edward Hechter, CEO of PartyPail.com, said that sales were up 34% Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday.
Sarah Holmes, owner of Gritty City Beauty in Philadelphia, said, "We got a lot more Web traffic and orders on Small Business Saturday (Nov. 26) because we really tried to stress our participation."
Sales gains bring glimmer of hope for 2012
The overall sales success from the long holiday weekend is "providing a needed shot in the arm to our nascent recovery," said Matt Shay, CEO of the National Retail Federation.
For Ranger Up's Palmisciano, the weekend offers a hopeful sign for next year.
"We look at this time of the year as the report card for all our hard work," he said. "We added six employees this year. We're hoping to beat that in 2012."
NOTE: Sales figures for Small Business Saturday are not available.
Also on Yahoo! Small Business Advisor:
Small Businesses Shine in Wake of Black Friday
Planning for Next Year? Get a Fix on These Numbers First